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Prayer and Virtue

“There are two ways in which the prayer of a righteous man is effective. The first is when the person praying does so by offering to God his works done according to His commands. Then the prayer is not just a matter of words, blurted out meaninglessly with the empty echo of the tongue, but powerful and living and inspired with the spirit of the commandments. For the true basis of prayer and supplication is the fulfillment of the commandments by virtue. This makes the prayer of a righteous person strong and full of power.” (St. Maximus the Confessor)


“Strive to discover stirrings that are good during the time of prayer, as the wise do. These consist in reflection on the Spirit’s insights and sagacious thought, and consideration during the time of prayer of how to please the will of the Maker of all. This is the final end of all virtue and of all prayer. When in these matters you receive the power that stems from grace to be bound firmly to their continual stirrings, you will become a “man of God” and will be close to spiritual things….The unsurpassable merit in keeping the commandments and exercising charity is not merely that it leads to a virtuous life. The virtuous life is a means, not an end in itself. The end is and must be God — not a God who inspires fear in order to force us toward an attitude of obedience and virtue, but a God of infinite love and mercy, who calls us to be holy for the single reason that He Himself is holy.” (St. Isaac of Nineveh, Fr. John Breck)


“Nothing can possibly compare to delighting in the feast of the Kingdom, to living in the light… to becoming one Body with our brothers and sisters and to partaking of the one Body that is the very fountain of immortality. And yet this upper room in the life of the Christian is situated at the top of a spiritual ladder formed by a life of active virtue and inner prayer. There are no short-cuts to holiness; it is a struggle...” (Bishop Alexis)


“The carnal man does not understand the spiritual blessedness that proceeds from prayer and virtue, and cannot comprehend even in a small degree what the blessedness in the next world will be. He does not know anything higher than earthly carnal happiness, and considers future blessings as imaginary visions. But the spiritual man knows by experience the blessedness of the virtuous soul, and foretastes future blessedness in his heart.” (St. John of Kronstadt)


“All of the virtues and powers of God are attained primarily by prayer. Without prayer, there is no spiritual life….If you are not successful in your prayer, you will not be successful in anything, for prayer is the root of everything.” (Fr. Thomas Hopko, St. Theophan the Recluse)


#StMaximustheConfessor #StIsaacofNineveh #FrJohnBreck #BishopAlexis #StJohnofKronstadt #FrThomasHopko #StTheophantheRecluse


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